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No Pets—or Poop—Allowed in the City Parks, Still

After some debate, the Council decided to keep the parks policy as is: no pets allowed.

An item on last night’s city council agenda, the Policy for the Use of City Parks, brought up a, um, fresh debate about dogs being allowed in the interior of City of Norcross parks.

The issue was first brought to the Council by Public Works, Utilities, Parks and Recreation Director Craig Mims, who wanted to amend the city parks ordinance “to help clarify and make certain changes in authorized usage in each of the City’s Parks,” according to a memo he authored.

The clarification seemed relatively straightforward, but Councilmember Andrew Hixson moved to remove section 30-18 from the ordinance, which states that pets are not allowed in the interior of the parks.

He said he would still like the pets to be on leashes--but that people already break the "no pets allowed" rule, even with the current ordinance.

Hixson, who has a dog that he walks in Norcross, told a personal anecdote: He got married in the pavilion in Lillian Webb and has always wanted to walk his dog there to share the experience. His dog is a family member, after all.

“There’s a whole host of people who don’t want dogs where people recline or sit,” said Councilmember Charlie Rheim, who was against changing the ordinance. 

Councilmember David McLeroy favored with Hixson. He said he felt the ordinance was one that the city just can’t enforce. “It makes no sense to me,” he said.

Mayor Pro-Tem Ross Kaul said he wished that people would be responsible enough to pick up after their dogs, but he just doesn’t think it can happen. He even got a few laughs by mentioning that he has taken pictures of transgressions of local pooches and sent them to staff members to make his point.

Ultimately, the Council voted 3-2 to keep the policy as is.

lou mcWilliams July 12, 2011 at 04:03 PM
until people learn that picking up their dogs 'litter' is NOT about being trained by the dog, but simply how civilized humans live in a community, dogs will never have the fun of romping in a park. it's not the dog, it'a the owner.
YH July 12, 2011 at 07:47 PM
People not cleaning up after their pets is a definite problem. However, so is not cleaning up after themselves and or their children. Although animal waste is offensive and smelly, so is the garbage left behind by humans, which unlike animal waste, is not biodegradable and much more of an eyesore. Rather than not allow any dogs in the parks, the laws should simply be clearly stated (pick up after your pet, leash laws etc.), as well as having a designated 'potty' area, and if someone is seen not abiding then it should be reported and ticketed. This passing, is like saying that just because parents don't clean up after their children, children will no longer be allowed in the parks. Sounds outlandish, I know. However, to many people, their dogs are their children; whether due to just choosing to not have children yet or because they physically are unable to do so. This policy is extreme and if the same procedures were input for everything that might be annoying, loud, smelly or visually unappealing, many humans themselves wouldn't be allowed in many places.
lee kellogg July 13, 2011 at 08:12 PM
What do you dogs not understand about "illegal"? And teeth? Do you dogs not understand teeth? What about the diseases that come with crap? You dogs should all go back to Doglandia and then you can keep whoever you like out of your parks. That's if you learn to read and write. And use the toilet. We need a fence around the park to keep the dogs out and a patrol of volunteer citizens to inform the police. Where's the Tea Party. They could clean this mess up.

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